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How to Create an Introvert Friendly Event: A Case Study of WDS

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 10/11/2015 Tyler Tervooren
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For five years, I've had the privilege to be behind, in front of, on top of, underneath and around the scene of The World Domination Summit. Our small team of founding members have watched the event blossom from just a seed of imagination to an event for over 3,000 people.
I'm constantly amazed by the people I've worked with. More though, I'm amazed by who shows up year after year: introverts. My inside joke is that I love planning WDS but I wouldn't attend because I'm too introverted.
Really, though, I would attend WDS. It's one of the only events I would go to--whether 100 people or 10,000. We're far from perfect, but something we got right from the beginning, and have got right all along, is making an event where introverts--people like me (and, perhaps, you?)--feel at home.
I'm proud of that because many events do an extraordinarily poor job creating a comfortable environment for us. They assume we don't want to go to events, or there's nothing they can do for us. Both assumptions are, of course, wrong.
WDS is a haven for introverts and extroverts alike, and that's not by accident. I sat down recently to think about decisions we've made over the years that have created that welcoming environment. There were a few key decisions and actions that helped cultivate it.
My goal sharing this today is twofold:

  1. I hope it equips others creating events--from dinner parties with friends to multi-day conferences serving thousands--with some tools to make their events better for the 50% of the world they may be underserving.
  2. I hope it helps introverts like me--who enjoy big events but are easily overwhelmed by them--pick better events to attend.
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